Help your children to stay active

November 27, 2012

Going to a shopping mall may be one way of keeping your children occupied during the school holidays, what with the many free performances for kids at shopping centres these days.

However, shopping is not the best way of getting your children to stay active, not to mention that it usually burns a hole in your pocket at the end of a trip.

As a guide, a preschooler should be encouraged to have at least 180 minutes of physical activity spread out over the course of a day, in between periods of inactivity (a lack of physical activity).

Here’s how you can get your preschooler to clock 180 minutes of physical activity daily: 8am: Have breakfast.

9am: Spend two hours to learn, read or play.

11am: Let your child play an indoor game or get him to give you a hand in preparing lunch.

Noon: Have lunch.

1pm: Nap time.

2pm: More learning, reading or games.

5pm: Take your child outside for some physical fun. Walk to a neighbourhood playground or arrange an indoor play date with a friend for the kids to play and dance to their favourite songs.

6pm: Have dinner.

7pm: Engage in free-and-easy activities to wind down the day. Enjoy a stroll in the park or read a book with your child. 9pm: Bedtime.

If your child has a physical limitation or medical condition, you should seek a doctor’s advice on the types and amount of physical activities that are best for him.

Keeping your child active and healthy does not require expensive memberships to gyms or sports clubs that cater specifically to kids. All it takes is a little creativity that you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine.

Here are some ideas that apply to children of all age groups:

  • Try various games and sports to find one that your child likes and will enjoy over and over again. Make it fun. You can even put your child in charge and let him choose an activity to play.
  • The most important part is to do something active together.
  • Keep moving. Break up long periods of inactivity by injecting five to 10 minutes of fun and play in between. Limit your child’s time spent on watching TV or playing video games to less than two hours a day.
  • Commit to a specified amount of time for outdoor activities each day. It could be as simple as a walk in the park or a visit to the neighbourhood playground.
  • Praise your child. Motivate him by letting him know that you like what he is doing.
  • When choosing a present for your child, pick one that encourages activity, such as a bicycle, a hula hoop, balls or kites.
  • Set a good example and participate in different types of physical activities with your child. Get the family involved and be active.

Source: My Paper

Category: Wellness and Complementary Therapies

Comments are closed.